There is nothing cuter than seeing a baby elephant (the term calf doesn’t give it the cuteness it deserves) taking a mud bath. They use their tiny trunks to scoop up the mud at toss it on their backs while still making sure to throw some at you. They do not care that you are wearing a white shirt or your best pair of loafers, if he wants you to join in the mud bath, you will.
I got to experience this at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which is a sanctuary for orphan elephants.
ABOUT DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST
David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E in memory of her late husband David Leslie William Sheldrick as a sanctuary aimed at wildlife conservation. The Orphan’s Project is at the core of its conservation activities, having rescued a number of orphaned elephants and any other wildlife indeed of assistance to help curb poaching in the country.
EXPERIENCE AT DSWT
Located at the KWS Central Workshop Gate, off Magadi Rd, it is quite easy to miss the main entrance of the sanctuary and when you actually do get there, one has to complete a 5 minute walk to the next entrance. It is open to the public from 11am to noon and at 5pm to 6pm for people who have adopted elephants.
I got to attend the 11am to noon session whereby we got to watch the baby ellies take mudbaths, drink milk and actually pet the baby elephants. CUTEST THING EVER. As you enjoy the view, there is a keeper who narrates the origins if the sanctuary, the story of each and every elephant (which are tear-jerking by the way) and how we could help the babies.
The one thing that surprised me was the fact that the keepers and the elephants all sleep in the same area. The keeper has to wake up a couple of times in the middle of the night to feed the baby elephant.
I was excited to meet Pea the Ostrich that was an international star as he formed an unlikely friendship with the herd of elephants. They were inseparable. However, I was absolutely shattered when I heard of Pea’s untimely death a week ago when he was killed by lions at the National Park. You can read more about Pea and his story HERE
ADOPT AND DONATE
Having visited DSWT, I got a new outlook on wildlife and the need for conservation.
Seeing the elephants and hearing their stories gives you a new perspective. You can find the donation details HERE. You can also help support David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust by buying souvenirs at their stands or even adopting an elephant at 5000KSH (50USD) annually.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A taxi or personal means to KWS Central Workshop Gate, off, Magadi Rd opposite Multimedia University. An uber from the CBD is your best bet as it costs 700-1000KSH ($7-$10). You can carpool with friends to reduce costs. If you want to head by matatu, you could take a No.125 or 126 from Railways and ask to alight at the KWS central workshop on Magadi Rd (KSH 60)
11am to 12pm
Have a lovely week.